International fashion retailer F&F has opened its first New York store, on Long Island, as it attempts to infiltrate the U.S. market.
The 6,571-square-foot store, which opened June 28 at the Westfield South Shore mall in Bay Shore, will hold a grand opening on Aug. 16, mall and company officials said. The store employs 20 people.
F&F, based in England, plans to open a second Long Island store at Westfield Sunrise mall in Massapequa in mid-August.
The company, which bills itself as the world's third-largest retailer, sells clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and children designed exclusively for the F&F brand at affordable prices, similar to H&M and Old Navy. F&F, which launched in the U.K. and Ireland in 2001, has 1,600 corporate and franchise locations in 21 countries including Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
"The timing couldn't be any better because the consumer is looking for new places to develop and personalize their products," said Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with The NPD Group, a Port Washington-based market research company. "The younger generation is looking to discover new fashion and new brands . . . Value is a key category decision-maker for younger consumers. The younger generation is clearly raised on a budget."
Earlier this year, F&F announced it would open seven stores on the East Coast with its U.S. operating partner, Manhattan-based Retail Group of America. It has already opened ones in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
"The United States is the best place to expand your business if you're outside of the U.S.," Cohen said. "This is one of many international companies that would try to put stores in the U.S. and there is no better place than Long Island. Long Islanders spend more money than the average American per person, particularly on fashion."
F&F plans to open a third New York store in West Nyack. Additional locations are planned for Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The F&F brand is owned by Tesco PLC, which opened its first F&F stand-alone store in Prague, Czech Republic in 2010. The UK original brand name was Florence & Fred, but it now strictly goes by F&F.